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CAB returns just under €30 million to taxpayer in four years

Officers expected to have recovered millions in assets during 2016.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

THE CRIMINAL ASSETS Bureau (CAB) returned €28 million to the taxpayer in the space of four years, it has emerged.

Figures released by the Department of Justice showed how between the period of 2011 and 2015, over €10 million was returned under the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996, almost €16.5 million was returned through Revenue legislation and €1.5 million was handed back to the Exchequer through “social welfare provisions”.

Figures from 2016 are expected to be high as CAB engaged in a high number of operations around the country. In October of this year, 46 cars and significant amounts of cash, jewellery and watches were seized by officers in Dublin.

Around 20 premises were raided in a series of searches at around 10am, including car showrooms, garages and solicitor and accountancy offices.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald described how resources will continue to be attributed to CAB in the coming months.

‘Committed’

She said: ” The work of the bureau is well regarded nationally and internationally and we are committed to supporting its work through the provision of the necessary resources and we will continue to explore the further development of the bureau in line with the programme for government.”

Dublin crime gang raids Criminal Assets Bureau carrying out searches on homes and businesses in Dublin. Source: Niall Carson/PA

CAB was set up in the wake of the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996. It has the power to seize assets if officers believe they are the proceeds of crime. The model has been rolled out in a number of countries and Minister Fitzgerald said more countries “are quite interested in developing the CAB model we have developed here because of its success”.

Last week, CAB officers seized €150,000 in cash after they executed search warrants on premises in Rathkeale, Limerick.

Gardaí also confiscated a large volume of documents and other evidence related to assets. This evidence will be further examined by specialist bureau officers.
That particular CAB investigation relates to suspected criminal activity by an organised crime gang in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

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